Nation Sees Biggest Drop in 17 Years, How About Las Vegas?

MSNBC reported, "Biggest existing home sales drop in 17 years: Housing demand down 8.4 percent last year; Dec. sales off 0.8 percent."

Sales of existing homes fell in December, closing out a year in which demand for homes slumped by the largest amount in 17 years.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes were down 0.8 percent last month, a bigger decline than had been expected. For the year, sales fell by 8.4 percent, the biggest annual decline since 1989, when existing home sales fell by 14.8 percent.

The sales figure underscored the sharp contraction that is going on in the once high-flying housing market, which before last year had set sales records for five straight years.

Even with the sharp drop in sales last year, the median price of an existing home sold in 2006 managed to rise a slight 1.1 percent. But that was far below the double-digit gains during the boom years. The median home price had risen by 12.4 percent in 2005.

So, how does that affect Las Vegas real estate? Las Vegas also saw a decrease in home sales from previous years. What the market is experiencing is a return to a "normal" market. The huge boom of recent years was caused by several key factors, one of which being 9/11. As inventories oscillate back to normal buyers get nervous or excited. Don't expect a weak market from the Las Vegas area. Too many positive factors indiate a strong market in the near and more distant future.

One of the interesting points noted in the quote above is that the median prices of homes sold still rose nation wide.
Las Vegas saw a considerable rise in values overall, especially in new homes sold. Sellers aren't going to lay down and give up. Buyers are still moving forward on their purchases. The market isn't in distress - it is in correction.